Scioto to host teen driving classes
Teens can accelerate their driving skills with the free Key to Safe Teen Driving program.
The Mid-Ohio School, with the help of Kumho Tire USA and KeyBank, will offer eight sessions July 26 and 27 at Dublin Scioto High School, 4000 Hard Road.
"What they learn is advanced defensive driving class things they might not use every single day on roadways, but when they get in an emergency situation, they will have the tools in their toolbox to react to an emergency," said Steve Bidlack, Mid-Ohio School director.
The free classes begin at 9 and 10:45 a.m., as well as 1:15 and 3 p.m. both days.
The courses include time in the classroom and behind the wheel.
"We do about a 30-minute classroom session. The Ohio State Highway Patrol talks about the rules of the road then we do two hours of driving between three different driving activities," Bidlack said.
Classroom time also will include some information teens have learned in driver education.
"In the classroom, we go back to the basics of driving through positions," Bidlack said, noting that even how the driver sits affects driving. "To play a sport, you have to be in the right position to be able to perform. Driving is like that. We'll start off talking about basics before you even turn on the ignition."
For behind-the-wheel education, students will learn about emergency lane changes, wet breaking and skids.
The emergency-lane change exercise will teach teen drivers evasive maneuvering, Bidlack said.
"If a big tire is in your lane or something falls off (a vehicle) in front of you or another driver cuts you off, this allows you to take evasive maneuvering," he said. "You'll feel comfortable making that decision behind the wheel."
The skid exercise will teach drivers how to deal with being behind the wheel in inclement weather situations such as rain, ice and snow with the Mid-Ohio School's skid car.
"Even when it first starts to rain you have all that oil buildup on the highways and are dealing with the slipperiness," Bidlack said. "This teaches them not to panic in these situations."
Lessons such as these help make the roads safe for all drivers, Bidlack said.
"We're trying to build awareness for this type of training. Advanced defensive driving training contributes to making the streets safer for all drivers. Not only are teenage drivers getting better, ... but it helps all drivers if teens are better educated to the responsibilities behind the wheel," he said.
Parents are encouraged to attend the classes with their teen and watch them go through the drills, Bidlack said.
"This is not the standard driver's (education)," he said. "It's kind of like the X-Games of driver's (education). It pushes them beyond their comfort zone so when they get into an emergency situation on the street the driver is ready to respond."
To sign up for a class or get more information on the program, look online at KeytoSafeTeenDriving.com or call 1-877-793-8667.